Thursday, March 31, 2011

 
STRONG STUFF

Freewheeling down the winding road this morning into the rising sun of an enlightening day - the edgy kind, with an early bonechill but already intriguing aspects to it, even in the scent of the air - as I came to the open portion of the paddied slope just below the last curve through the forest and out into the open, I  could see ahead of me, below the Lake - as odd as that is to describe - the earliest farmer this year out readying his paddy for Spring tilling.

He alone of all the village rice farmers was out there at first light with his long-handled shovel, clearing the irrigation trenches, inlets and outlets all around his paddy, soon to be filled by the water that would gravitate down from the mountain by way of his neighbor's paddy above, and then from his own would flow down to fill that of his neighbor below. An important task to be done each year by each farmer, and so to be done well, to sustain this whole mountainside of good will.
 
He was working at the corner of the paddy above the road along which newbie I would pass on my motorcycle. Hearing then seeing me coming, he paused in his labors, leaned on his shovel with the sun at his back, we shouted good morning to each other and I passed on by, leaving him in the kind of deep, nature-fed silence you can only get out in the countryside, as opposed to city silence, the merely welcome absence of sound.

As I rolled on down the road, although  he turned again to his labors he remained imprinted on my retina in silhouette, burned there by the sun like an icon of some kind, which I suppose he is-- perhaps of responsibility that goes back 20 generations or more, has made it this far, and naturally plans to continue. 
 
Strong stuff.
 
 

6 comments:

Tabor said...

Yes, it is. City silence...never heard that.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Your words gave me a great visual.. Reminds me of watching my grandfather in his garden, working all day. He loved his veggie garden and fruit trees...

pserean said...

Hullo.
Gorgeous imagery, as KBF said.
A man in a field- and everything waiting for God to lend a Hand.

Maggie said...

As always, your sentences leave me panting, but your images stay with me.

catmomaj said...

'Splendid'! Thank you again for sharing.

joared said...

"...nature-fed silence you can only get out in the countryside..."
What a mood your words create.